It is only Tuesday and I already have so much to share about how Rooted we are in READING!!  Oh my goodness, we started Stellaluna yesterday and we have already learned a ton!!!  

I had my easel all ready to go on Monday morning.  My chart, vocabulary words, and comprehension cards were all in place so we could get rockin' and rollin' right away!
 After reading Stellaluna for the first time, we discussed how she felt throughout the book.  We also provided evidence from the text to help us know why she felt the way she did!
We also noticed that some of the feelings were common throughout different parts of the book for different reasons.  For example, she was nervous in the beginning because of the owl attack AND she was nervous in the middle because she was with strange creatures!
Then it was time to make connections to the character.  We used one of the flap-ups to write about our connections.
On Tuesday we focused on strong verbs that we found all throughout the book.  I put my students in groups of 3-4 students since I found 6 copies of the book (ask your coworkers and librarians for extra copies so that your students can see the text in front of them!!).  In groups, my students went on a verb hunt.
 And, boy oh boy... we found TONS of verbs!  After charting our verbs we put stars next to the ones we considered to be strong :)
We also had a discussion about why the author chose to use so many strong verbs throughout her writing.  It was decided that she wanted to make it interesting and create a good visual for her readers!
Then it was time to sort strong vs weak verbs...
 We put all of this together on one large sheet of construction paper.  I won't always do this, but I thought it would be fun to show all of this learning in one place!  I printed the flap-ups two to a page so that they would fit on the sheet of construction paper.
My students were so proud of their work!  This shows their character traits, making connections, and verb sort :))

 We still have so much to do with the book, but I just had to pop in and show you what we've been up to!!  You can find ALL of this and more in our Rooted in Reading October Unit!

AND, if you want to get ready for November then here are the books we chose for our next unit!  I am beyond thrilled about how things are looking so far!  We are hard at work to bring you the absolute BEST activities for your students!!!
I purchased all of my books on Amazon {PTL for Amazon Prime and their quick shipping... I can't even tell you how many books we ordered before finding the perfect ones!!}
Have a wonderful week!!!

Froggy Friends

Happy Weekend, friends!  This past week my class started our first nonfiction unit of study for the year.  I always like to start with frogs because my students are just so intrigued by them!  This week we worked on locating facts, comparing fiction to nonfiction, and verbs.  Incorporating verbs with frogs was perfect because those guys are action stars!  After a couple of days of reading books, charting what we learned, etc  we made these directed drawings of frogs.  I used THIS video and they turned out so cute!  

I also incorporated writing facts about frogs and brainstorming verbs... this complete project took a couple of days because we just did one part at a time :)
 You can find the flapbook in my Frog unit :)
 I love how each one is so different!  AND, we had several different types of frogs represented in our drawings!

 To compare fiction with nonfiction books we also read Frog and Toad books. 
These frog and toad friends are always a hoot!  My students wrote about the characters on the inside :)
These books led to a great discussion about the difference between frogs and toads.  After reading some nonfiction books and using the PowerPoint in my Frogs unit we charted what we learned.

 To wrap up our unit we made THESE frog hats.  My kids wore them proudly all day long!
 Next week we start digging into Rooted in Reading with Stellaluna!  I can't wait to come back and share pictures with you!

Homophone Fun and a FREEBIE!

Last week my class learned about homophones during Language Arts.  These word pairs are very difficult for my English Language Learners, but we made it through without growing too many gray hairs ;)

I used Katie's Homophone Unit and Amanda Madden's Multiple Meaning Words for my two main resources.  They have a lot of great visuals and activities in their units!
We read lots of books to see all kinds of homophone and homonym examples!

This flapbook from Katie was a great reinforcement for where we put to/too/two in sentences.  It really helped my kiddos see the homophones in action!
 I really enjoyed seeing my kiddos use their homophones in sentences with these flapbooks from Amanda!
I sure do love kid art!  Plus the pictures helped my students really see what was happening in the sentences. 

 To end our unit we made these little Ones That Won!  My kiddos loved this little guy!  I asked them to make up a short story about how the one won... and include three homophone pairs!  You can grab this freebie HERE!

 We definitely aren't finished talking about homophones because it's something that we will need to practice all year long!

Rooted in Reading!

It's here, it's here, it's finally here!  Katie and I just finished up our October Rooted in Reading unit in the wee hours of last night!  We've been working like dogs to get this all finished, and we are soooooo excited about the finished product!  Now that this is done my entire month of ELA is all planned out for me... and it can be planned out for you too!  Here's a really close look at what's all included!

We focused on four books (links about that all the way down at the bottom). Each book has either a craft or directed drawing that can be paired with a variety of skills... adjectives, vocabulary, writing, quotes, etc.  Every cute thing has a purpose!!! 
Also, for each book you will notice we included two original reading passages that connect with the theme of the book... one fictional passage and one nonfiction passage.  We wanted your students to make connections and be held accountable for comprehension.  Also, we poured over these books and came up with 18 questions that will promote higher-level thinking and incorporate all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy!  AND, if that isn't enough your students will even be able to practice dialogue with a reader's theatre for I Need My Monster!  OHHH, I can't forget that comprehension quick checks are included for all four books as well!  We know you need to take grades, so we definitely took that into consideration!
We wanted students to think deeply about the text that they are reading.  Each book comes with several reading response activities.  For these four stories we focused on Problem/Solution, Making Connections, Sequencing, Locating Facts, and Vocabulary!  These flap-ups can be used in your students' interactive notebooks!
 Katie and I both agreed that we needed to up our vocabulary game.  We knew that our kiddos are needing to retire some of those boring words they've been using over and over again.  So, vocabulary is a huge focus for each book!  We made vocabulary cards, vocabulary writing prompts, and printables to go along with each book!
 We didn't want to exclude grammar from the mix, so including grammar and writing activities was very important to us!  You'll focus on proper nouns, shades of meaning, quotation marks, verbs, types of sentences, and adjectives throughout these units!
And, because we know how busy you are.....

We put everything into weekly plans for you!  You just print and teach!!!!  Isn't that exciting?!!
You'll need the books below to go along with Rooted in Reading:
Crankenstein:  Amazon
Crankenstein:  Scholastic

Spiders by Gail Gibbons:  Amazon
Spiders by Gail Gibbons:  Scholastic

Stellaluna:  Amazon
Scholastic:  Scholastic

I Need My Monster:  Amazon
You can also find it online HERE

Phew!  That's a lot of information to share!  You can find out more about the unit by clicking on any of the pictures in this unit or by clicking HERE!  And, YES, we are already starting to look for our November books!  We will post those as soon as we have our list finalized!!!

Come Add With Us!

This week we have taken a little break from place value to work on our addition strategies and fact fluency.  If I'm being honest, it's been a much needed brain break because it's more of a review from first grade as well as just fine tuning those skills.  Next week we will dive into subtraction... which never comes easy, so I'll enjoy addition while it lasts, ha!

We've been chanting, playing games, rolling dice, spinning spinners, using number lines, making models... anything I can do to get them moving and engaged I will try!

This Double Up Poster is in my Addition Unit.  You can find that HERE.  I'm hoarse and fighting an awful case of seasonal allergies... so I apologize in advance!  But, you'll get the gist of how we chant it out with movements :)
My kids absolutely love making this Doubles Dude every single year.  This year we recorded our doubles facts while chanting so that made it even more fun!
Most students didn't have time to trace, but the doubles facts are on the Doubles Dudes even though you can't see them! :)
Here's a little spin and add game that you can get HERE for free!  If we can spin it or roll it my kids are all over it!!
Today we started working with the Flip-Flop Strategy.  I think it's so important for students to explain their understanding.  You can grab the paper for the flip flops HERE.  The flip flop patterns are part of my Addition Unit.
I'll be back this weekend with some Homophone fun and hopefully an October reading unit to share!!

Kevin Henkes and something EXCITING!

Happy Sunday Funday, friends!  Last week my classes dove into a Kevin Henkes author study.  It's definitely one of my favorite units of the year!  We focused on character traits, comparing books by the same author, finding common themes, and making connections!

I love using Hollie Griffith's unit during our Kevin Henkes' week!  You can find that HERE.  We compared ourselves to our partners after reading Chester's Way.  We wrote about Wemberly after reading Wemberly Worried.
Throughout the week we kept up this chart so that we could discuss how the stories were alike and different.  
We also did a lot of reading responses in our journals!  We made a text-to-self connection with Wemberly Worried and wrote about our worries.  We described Chrysanthemum using a bubble map.  We also wrote about our favorite Kevin Henkes' book, but I forgot to snap pictures!
On Friday we celebrated the author by watching THIS video.  Then it was time for a little Friday fun with a directed drawing of a mouse!  Here are the steps we followed:
This activity morphed as we were completing it.  Some students asked if they could make up their own Kevin Henkes' character, while others wanted to make their mouse look like their favorite character from one of his books.  I let them run with that idea and I love how they turned out!!!
You can see below how several of my boys turned theirs into superheroes, ninjas, and secret spies, ha!  I was so thrilled to see their imaginations run wild while their creativity wheels were spinning!
Before I go I have to show you what Katie King and I have been up to!  I'm just TOOOOOO EXCITED about this!!!!  We are in the process of creating our first of many collaborative reading units!  These will be full of comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and writing craftivities!  Our October unit should be finished by next weekend!
 Here are the titles that we are centering our reading unit around.  If you want to go ahead and make sure you have copies of the books I have included links for purchase below!
Crankenstein:  Amazon
Crankenstein:  Scholastic

Spiders by Gail Gibbons:  Amazon
Spiders by Gail Gibbons:  Scholastic

Stellaluna:  Amazon
Scholastic:  Scholastic

I Need My Monster:  Amazon
You can also find it online HERE

Stay tuned and get ready for a month full of reading fun in October!  Our goal is to plan your month in reading all out for you!!!